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Thailand forum

Best East Coast / Gulf options

Posted by kingspank on 23/4/2013 at 10:05

Thank you in advance for reading my long-winded query...

I'm planning a 2-week honeymoon in Thailand. Due to my fiancee being a school teacher we must go in July.

My plan is to spend the first week in Bangkok and Chiang Mai and their environs, then spend the second week relaxing in the south. My fiancee wants to just spend that week relaxing, but personally, I get restless and would like to still spend some time hiking, sightseeing (I enjoy photography), diving/snorkeling and enjoying local cuisine/culture. So, originally I wanted to stay somewhere near Krabi as (in my understanding) it has some of the most dramatic beaches in the country (Railay), and I could also maybe do day trips Nakhon Si Thammarat, Khao Luang Cave, Koh Phi Phi, etc. if I needed a change of scenery.

Then I read about the rain. While I understand that going in July will still give me the chance to get plenty of sunshine and the weather will by no means ruin my honeymoon (probably), the west coast will be the wettest option, and I'm leaning toward playing it safe and moving my base of operations to the east coast. I'm looking at Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao, weighing their plusses and minuses in terms of isolation (good and bad), development (good and bad, mostly bad) and natural beauty (always good). So I have a few questions:

1. Just how isolated are the islands? Is it feasible to do day trips to the mainland from any of them?
2. Are there any east coast locations on the mainland that I should consider instead?
3. Am I underestimating the east coast islands? How plentiful are their non-tanning activities?

Thanks so much for your help!

Jeff

#1 kingspank has been a member since 23/4/2013. Posts: 1

Posted by Captain_Bob on 24/4/2013 at 04:44

1. Just how isolated are the islands? Is it feasible to do day trips to the mainland from any of them?
It's a minimum 2-hour ferry from any of them to the mainland, but ferries are frequent and reliable. Not much to see on the mainland near there though. I would just stick to whichever island you choose. A daytrip by boat to the Ang Thong marine park is worthwhile.

2. Are there any east coast locations on the mainland that I should consider instead?
I like some of the lesser-known mainland spots like Ban Krut, Bang Saphan, and Prachuap Khiri Khan, but there isn't more "to do" stuff there than on the islands.

3. Am I underestimating the east coast islands? How plentiful are their non-tanning activities?
There is plenty to do compared to any other Thai island. Samui is the most developed, with busy strips like Chaweng being more like a seaside shopping mall. Ko Tao is mostly a divers island with dive shops/resorts dominating the main "Sairee" beach. It's also a small island which you can ride end to end on a scooter in about 20 minutes. Ko Phangan is a nice balance between the other two islands, with extensive enough roads to explore every corner by motorbike, a good variety of beaches and snorkelling spots, and range of accommodation from cheapo beach huts up to horizon pool resorts. Guess which island I prefer? NB in July it will be busy!

#2 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,918


Posted by caseyprich on 24/4/2013 at 09:03

Oh . . . I thought we meant the east coast islands of the gulf not the west coast islands of the gulf.

#3 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 24/4/2013 at 12:07

"Not much to see on the mainland near there though"

Krabi has plenty to do on the mainland. You can ride a bike around the various bays over around Khlong Muang, check out Krabi town, kayak at Thalen Bay and Bor Thor. Visit hotsprings at Khlong Thom.

Boat trips to Phi Phi and Hong are very good.

#4 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
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